MEET RITA PANIAGUA
A proven leader for our communities
Since Rita's arrival from Puerto Rico to Syracuse in 2003, she has been committed to serving others in the Syracuse community. She has been working for the Spanish Action League on Syracuse's Near Westside and was promoted to Executive Director in 2007. Rita maintained this role for nearly a decade, where she had the opportunity to advocate and interact with residents across Syracuse to help them further their wellness and quality of life for over a decade. In 2015, Rita decided to advocate for the community in a different way - this time, as a Commissioner of Education for the Syracuse City School District. She was successfully elected to serve until 2019, where she has been and continues to advocate for the city's youth.
In 2017, Rita accepted a position as the Director of Community Relations and Engagement in New York with Molina Healthcare. This role has enabled Rita to further develop and foster relationships within the Syracuse community.
Rita also was appointed by former Governor David Patterson to serve as a board member on the New York State Council of the Arts. She additionally serves as a board member of the CNY Arts Board, Interfaith Works, Syracuse H.O.P.E, and Cancer Connects.
Rita seeks to represent the entire city of Syracuse to ensure equality, respect, and opportunity for all residents. She has worked extensively through active participation in key initiatives that addresses residents needs and calls for action to promote change. Rita has been supporting and assisting residents navigate their daily life challenges for over a decade, and now she wants to take her services to others to an even higher level: the Syracuse Common Council. This past June, Rita was successful in a Democratic Primary, defeating her incumbent opponents to secure a position on the ballot for November 2019.